First Italy trip- input much appreciated

Feb 28th, 2004, 07:44 PM
  #21  
awbaker
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Hi rparmele,

I am also planning a first trip to Italy this August/September, but to celebrate my 8th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to you!

After reading many posts on this site re: hotel recommendations, I reserved a room (with a terrace & sea view) in Positano at Villa Rosa (E140), a superior double (with terrace & sea view) at La Minerva in Capri (E195) & a room at Relais Banchi Vecchi in Rome (E110 -- near Campo d'Fiori). web sites below:

http://www.villarosapositano.it/entrance.htm

http://www.laminervacapri.com/en/index.html

http://www.banchivecchi115.com/inglese/

Villa Rosa & La Minerva were also recommended by Karen Brown's guidebook.
 
Feb 29th, 2004, 01:08 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I just got back from my first trip to Italy, had booked hotels myself after researching books and on-line. Was nervous about what the hotels would be like , but all five we stayed were great ( and were 2 - 3 stars). From the experiences I had, if you are on a budget, I definitely would NOT go to 4 stars, the 3 star places were exceptionally nice. The hotels and rooms are ALL immaculately clean, they are apparently regulated closely there. All were very classy, with great staff and service, and the rooms/bathrooms were all bigger and nicer than i thought they would be.
We also travelled alot, and it was tiring, although the trains are great, you are still repacking and lugging your luggage around, so pack as light as you can! (You can wear things more than once or twice, as long as you have enough clean underwear !! You should go to Pompeii from Naples, it is very close. Capri was beautiful, we were only there 1/2 day, the weather was cloudy, but it is a place I'd like to go back and spend more time in!! My 12 year old son announced that when he gets married, he wants to honeymoon on Capri!! We did a quick tour of Pompeii in about 2 hours, probably 3-4 is better, but we saw alot of it. (House of Vetti is closed for renovations!!!)
Had great food everywhere, worst meal was an expensive place we found in a guide book. Look for smaller, not commercial looking or places that are advertising alot - everyone makes their own pasta, fresh sauces, fresh cheeses, etc. You almost can't go wrong, and you don't have to spend big $$.
Few quick tips: dont bring travellers checks, no one takes them. Use an ATM or Visa card. Many of the hotels have these cruddy 700 watt hairdryers, so if that is an issue for you, bring one and an adapter or buy one there. They also dont give you hair conditioner or washcloths/face cloths. there are many guidebooks, I had two but used my "Italy for Dummies" alot, was very helpful. Enjoy, and have a wonderful honeymoon- you certainly picked a memorable place!! Ciao! (p.s.- most everyone you need to speak to speaks english...)
sumas8 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 06:40 AM
  #23  
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Again, thank you all. Your help has been invaluable. A few answers to your questions:
-We're planning on leaving Boston Monday 8/30 and arrivng in Naples 8/31, returning to Boston from Rome 9/9.
-We have heard back from Villa Rosa in Positano and Le Sirene in Praiano, both favorably. Quite excited.
-We have sent e-mails to La Minerva and Belsito in Capri and waiting to hear back.
-Our last step is to get a room in Rome for the last leg of the trip.
Some questions:
-Is there any area in Rome to avoid staying in i.e innconvenience and/or crime? Any further suggestions for specific Rome hotels?
-Belsito in Capri quotes rates around 90 E per person but posts on this board seem to be more around that per room than per person. We have an e-mail into the hotel but does anyone here know for sure?
-Using your US bank issued debit card for most purchases is safe, convenient, and economical i.e exchange rate?

Thank you
rparmele1 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 08:31 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 247
Congrats on your marriage! And congrats on your fabulous choice of a honeymoon destination - you'll love it! If it's any help, here's the link to my trip report and pics of our trip to Italy last year. We also went to Positano and Siena and had an incredible time. Hope it helps, happy to answer any questions too...

Italy Trip Report:

www.hightide.com/travel
(click on Italy Trip Report)

Direct URL:
www.hightide.com/travel/Italy2003/Italy2003.html
hightide is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 08:32 AM
  #25  
rex
 
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I recommend the Centro Storico - - and Cesari is a good choice, as are del Senato and Santa Chiara, if their rates don't go through the ceiling (they are suffering from over-popularity, perhaps)

Or read about Canali ai Coronari here and make your own decision about whether enough is known about since its refurbishment.
rex is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 01:33 PM
  #26  
awbaker
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Another Rome hotel we are considering is Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere, which sounds like a fun neighborhood at night. The hotel looks wonderful on the web site. It has also been recommended several times on this forum and in Karen Brown's & Rick Steve's guidebooks. We were quoted 155E if we showed them Rick's book and paid in cash (normally 207E). Web site:
www.htlsantamaria.com
 
Feb 29th, 2004, 03:52 PM
  #27  
ira
 
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Hi rp,

Glad you got to stay the Le Sirene.

>Using your US bank issued debit card for most purchases is safe, convenient, and economical i.e exchange rate?<

NO, NO, NO.

Use your debit card only at ATMs.

Use a charge card for everything else.

If someone gets your debit card number and PIN they can wipe out your bank account in minutes.
ira is online now  
Mar 1st, 2004, 12:42 AM
  #28  
 
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me again- we stayed in two places in Rome- both excellent, not sure what the prices would be when you are going. Hotel Miami, very close to station Termini (walking distance) and Caesar House (B&B) very close to Colosseum. Both clean, safe, convenient for sightseeing, great staff. Trastaverde is nice, I saw alot of restaurants but didnt see too many hotels so dont know. That area was a bit of a walk from some of the sightseeing., We did walk all around rome, it is possible, we took a cab once, and took the subway once(not scary, but not very extensive, and its only 1 euro) but mostly walked (good to walk off all the great food)!!
sumas8 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2004, 11:00 AM
  #29  
 
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Thanks to all. We have everything set except for airfare. Right now I'm seeing about $860 USD each round trip to fly from Boston to Naple and then from Rome back to Boston. Should we book now or wait for a few months to gives rates a chance to come down? Will they come down or just book up? Thanks.
rparmele is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 08:00 AM
  #30  
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Thanks again for everyone's help. I've gotten some rolled eyes when I mention we're planning on flying into Naples to begin our trip and ferry to Capri. Is Naples really that unsafe? Our plan is to go directly from the airport to the docks. I can't imagine anything worse than any large city in US. Commn sense usually rules. Thanks.
rparmele1 is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 08:29 AM
  #31  
ira
 
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Hi rp,

> I've gotten some rolled eyes when I mention we're planning on flying into Naples to begin our trip and ferry to Capri. Is Naples really that unsafe?

NO

>Our plan is to go directly from the airport to the docks.

I suggest that you try to arrange at least one night in Naples. It has much to recommend it.

The Naples part of my trip report might be of interest to you.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34451044
ira is online now  
May 6th, 2004, 07:52 PM
  #32  
 
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rparmele--If you can't imagine that there's anything worse than any large city in the US, you will be in for some unpleasant surprises if you really start traveling worldwide.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 09:53 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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my husband and I also went to Capri and the Amalfi Coast on our honeymoon last summer. We loved Capri (stayed at La Minerva -- adored it). One word of caution re. Naples: we also went straight from the airport to the ferry via taxi. This is obvious advice for any foreign city, but make sure you get into a licensed cab and make sure the driver uses the meter. The ride from airport to ferry should only be about 10 or 15 euros. Enjoy your honeymoon!
petitepois is offline  
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